Thursday, March 20, 2014
How to fall in love with a BFG

How to fall in love with a BFG

A couple of weeks ago, in the aftermath of his headed winner for Germany against England, the Daily Mail ran a fantastic profile/interview with Per Mertesacker in which the BFG reflected on the charity work he undertook as a teenager and the way it shaped his attitude to football and indeed life in general.

Picking up on that theme ahead of Sunday’s game with Everton – dedicated to the Arsenal Foundation – the 29-year-old sat down with the Daily Telegraph and again spoke in depth about his relationship with sport, his long-standing Arsenal connection and why he thinks the Gunners have the quality to overcome all challenges this season.

We’ll run through a few snippets, but if you get the chance give Henry Winter’s full piece a read.

On parental guidance…

“Sometimes the image of footballers is not always the best. When I started, I always promised myself to be honest, to stay myself, to prepare for difficulties and overcome them. I took these principles from my parents…My parents always kept me grounded, kept me humble. That’s what made me feel not too important, not a shiny superstar.”

On having an Arsenal shirt as a child…

“There are pictures of me playing in the shirt, aged 10 or 12. I liked Tony Adams. But it was hard for me to chose one role model. It made me feel good just ‘being Arsenal’. I’ve always wanted to be in touch with Arsenal, have a little relationship between us. It was a big thing when Arsenal first called me. I said to myself: ‘I have to go. I have the shirt’.”

On his partnership with Koscielny…

“I anticipate and read the game even more because I maybe don’t have the pace. I have to get by on my own qualities. I don’t know never if it (pace) is needed to be a better player. When you compare me to Laurent he is more the mobile quick player. You need players like that and others like me with the organisation, the communication and anticipation.”

On Aaron Ramsey…

“When you score goals consistently like Ramsey, it’s just amazing his contribution. Arsenal took him from Cardiff – there was always big belief in his footballing qualities. A year ago, a lot of people doubted him. ‘Not consistent enough’, ‘not good enough’. But the manager knew Ramsey is a player who is really intelligent enough to cope with difficulties, with his mistakes. He works really hard and is a good lad as well.”

On Arsenal winning the title…

“Our team is a big melting pot with a lot of qualities thrown in. I really think we can get something out of that big pot. With that pot we think we can win every single game.”

To read more from the BFG on his brother, Ozil, Giroud, Germany’s chances at the World Cup and more, see the Telegraph

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44 comments

  1. “The Daily Mail ran a fantastic piece…..”. Never thought I’d ever read that sentence without it ending “…about how they’d realised what a bunch of racist scumbags they are, decided to apologise and subsequently folded in penance for its hideous excuse for ‘journalism’ over the years”

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  2. Who said wenger cant put together a defense now stewy robson?

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    • In all honesty I strongly feel the defensive solidity is attributed to Steve Boulds arrival

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  3. I love BFG. Natural leader. #ArseneStillKnows

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  4. Full of leaders arent we:) I fucking love this BIG FUCKING GERMAN!

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  5. Arsenal F.C. – all the right ingredients, just like a pot of mums beef stew

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  6. Is it true that we have never lost a game when we’ve had a back 5 of Szcz,Sagna,Mert,Kos and Gibbs?
    We’ve lost some when one of them been subbed but not while they’re all on the pitch at the same time.

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  7. We must have the most thoughtful, incisive team out there. You can tell our guys think about football and life on a higher level than most footballers. Just another reason to be proud of the Arsenal!

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    • Which is why over Summer, I really didn’t care for Suarez/Rooney rumours. I know Rooney’s got his bouts of form and Suarez can spank them in but they are just not Arsenal.

      Ramsey applauded away, a humble BFG, a hard-working handsome French man, etc, etc, etc, that is The Arsenal.

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  8. per, if the little boy inside you who wore that arsenal shirt starts talking to you

    tell him to f off

    unless you actually want to play in the europa league next season with other mid table teams of course

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  9. With his outstanding reading of the game he has done more reading than Wayne rooney in his entire life….

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  10. I love how on the field, the BFG is a scary, towering figure for our opponents but off the field he’s more like a large fluffy teddy bear.
    Our rock in defense, COYG!

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    • The image of him and Poldi goofing off with kids then flipping the switch and creaming opponents on the pitch is a bit much to take in.

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  11. Another excerpt from that Telegraph article:

    “I asked him before the game: ‘It would be crazy if they boo you at Cardiff as well as at Swansea.’ He didn’t know what would happen. He thought maybe it (booing) can happen. It was really surprising and so respectful when they clapped him. Ramsey is such a kind person that he deserves that.”
    — Per Mertesacker on Aaron Ramsey

    I am now saying this pretty much at least once a day, but man do I fucking love this team.

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    • Yeah, this was a fav quote of mine as well. What a refreshingly candid interview. Deep man, and it is easy to see why AW gave him a leadership role early on after he joined.

      Another good one (it does matter how we treat the players):

      “When I came to Arsenal I didn’t expect to be well-respected but I was immediately made to feel comfortable. I felt supported. The fans sing that I’m a ‘Big f***** German’. I was really surprised. I was not sure about it, about what it meant. But I know it’s affectionate so I will go with it! I hope to hear it again and again. I love ‘being Arsenal’.”

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  12. Our Germans are so fucking loveable! Two great articles today, what a fantastic saturday this is becoming. Come on now France international B squad let’s beat Manure!

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  13. What a geezer. Not only is he turning out to be a top buy/player, it also turns out that like the rest of us he had an Arsenal shirt as a kid, which in effect means he has Arsenal in his blood!

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  14. A fantastic read! Loving the thought of a mini gooner in there somewhere!

    Reminds me of being a boy… when all my friends supported the mugsmashers and mancs. One of which was so deluded he had a topless picture of bryan robson posing next to a swimming pool. But that’s another story!

    I opted for Everton because I merely liked to be different.

    But, from my panini album I had both Everton and Arsenal stickers up on my wall.

    Not sure if it was Kenny Sansom’s tache or a general affiliation to the great AFC.

    Fortunate to say a bloke at my Dad’s pub started taking me to Highbury at the age of 11, and Everton are now but a mini me in a fucking great red and white haze!!

    Come on you gunners!!!!
    (But only smash them 4-0!) ;-)

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    • Even more he did what every good brother has a duty to do and converted his sibling from the dark side.

      Better still, from the way it reads his brother has quietly become one of the away boys (if only occasionally).

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    • Dept. of by-gones: Maybe RvP would feel less aggrieved theses days if his inner child had been a ‘mini-me in a fucking great red white haze’ as well ;•)

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  15. extend him extend him extend him.

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  16. From Germany with love.

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  17. Compare this professional footballer to john terry. I wish i was German.

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  18. ‘I have to go. I have the shirt’

    Loving the BFG

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  19. He’s too slow.

    Wenger panic buy.

    The media is never wrong.

    ;)

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  20. Ping pong 4 Frimpong

    When I read the part about him being unsure of his song, I couldn’t help but laugh. The thought of “big fucking german” startling him just reinforced my idea of what a nice guy he must be

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  21. The guy is pure class. Perfect for Arsenal.

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  22. ‘It was a big thing when Arsenal first called me. I said to myself: ‘I have to go. I have the shirt’.’

    Oh dear, how these words warmed my heart on a cold Sunday morning in Berlin :•)

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